To Russia with love

An innovative teacher is hearing the sweet sound of success after landing a national award for her use of an XBox 360 games console in the classroom.

Louise Dorrian, a music teacher at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby, is off to Moscow after being victorious in the national final of Microsoft's Innovative Teacher Awards in Manchester on Tuesday.

She was rewarded for her project Xtra-ordinary Singing, which

encouraged students to feel more confident to sing in public by

using video game technology and creative use of IT to record backing tracks.

Her students learned about hip-hop music and recorded their own rap, and Miss Dorrian also created a project blog for parents.

Miss Dorrian, whose mother also taught in Corby, will be going to Moscow to compete in the European finals in March next year.

If she is victorious there, she will move on to a further competition in Washington.

Miss Dorrian said: "I was completely shocked and overwhelmed.

"There were so many fantastic projects so it was amazing to be chosen.

"The innovative use of technology and games-based learning is definitely popular.

"It has been really good for the students to know that people across the UK know about the project."

Pupil Lydia Rutherford, 12, said: "I think it is good because she deserves it.

"She is really thorough with everything. The XBox has made it more fun in the classroom and has made a better atmosphere."

This was not the only award the school picked up at the event.

Lodge Park principal Guy Shearer had been invited to speak about creating a culture of using new technologies in school, and was given a special award by Microsoft, for outstanding achievement in supporting innovation.

Mr Shearer said: "It was a really successful night and people came from all over the United States to it.

"Louise had her XBox there and was getting people to come along and try it, and it really made it came alive.

"It is brilliant. Loads of people have been on Twitter asking about Lodge Park and trying to find out more about the school."